Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to screw around with my instrument cluster forever. I've already replaced all my speakers, installed an aftermarket stereo, and finally installed some LEDs in my cluster and AC panel.

So my first question is... could I paint the top of this kind of LED with a sharpie to make it an amber color?

I ordered super white but now I kind of regret that, and don't want to spend another $20 on LEDs.

Another question, and I really want to try this out. I took apart my cluster today (partially). I took off the clear plastic cover, and the black panel that has holes for all the gauges and lights. I discovered that you can remove the gauge faceplates (but I didn't remove them).

I want to print out my own gauges (that would match up to the corolla's. Just scan the plate and modify at will in photoshop) but I haven't a clue on how to make portions of it actually transparent, and how to get the information lights to show up properly as well. (check engine, cruise control, O/D, etc.) Is this impossible to do with a laser or inkjet printer and regular paper? Maybe someone else has done this before? I dunno.

Last thing, does anyone know how to take off the gauge pointers? Otherwise I can't take the gauge faceplates off.

(I feel like such a ricer but... what can ya do lol)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
what LED did u used for ur cluster and ac panel
i need to buy some leds for my ac panel
and can u take a picture of how they look in white
 

·
Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
Joined
·
6,774 Posts
Last thing, does anyone know how to take off the gauge pointers? Otherwise I can't take the gauge faceplates off.
They should just slide right off. Get a good grip on the base of the needle/pointer (the round black part) and pull directly up towards you. Don't pull on the actual pointer itself, or you'll more than likely break it.
 

·
TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
For what it's worth--putting the pointers back on (at least on the tach cluster) is not as straightforward as you might think, especially for the speedometer. It seems to have residual spring tension when it sits at zero, because when I put mine back on at the exact same point it was easily 20mph off...I wound up driving down the highway on a straight stretch with cruise control on, a laptop with GPS in the passenger seat, a pair of pliers, the cluster in the car with the bezel off, and having to have my wife hold the wheel while I put the damn needle back on exactly at the speed we were going...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yeah, i guess that's a problem on the non-tach cluster as well. I just took the faces out to scan them (had to take a photo of the speedometer due to its stupid needle stopping pin) and after I inserted them, I noticed the speedo wouldnt go back to zero, but rather 20mph. So I took the needle off (probably did this like 10 times) and cruised around at a 10mph according to my gps. Within those 10 tries, I finally managed to get it right.

I've got this design in mind (made it tonight) but I feel like something's still missing...


If anyone wants to attempt this, I'm going to make a guide sometime soon. Speedo is based on the 1.8L US Corolla.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,071 Posts
That's a nice design, but I think what you feel is missing is the km/h, which helps to fill things out. It may make that too busy though. Just make sure the spacing on the numbers is correct. I'm pretty interested in this, can't wait to see it finished. what are you printing it on out of interest?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
That's a nice design, but I think what you feel is missing is the km/h, which helps to fill things out. It may make that too busy though. Just make sure the spacing on the numbers is correct. I'm pretty interested in this, can't wait to see it finished. what are you printing it on out of interest?
The spacing of the numbers is just like the regular speedo. And I never use KM/H, and won't be taking this car anywhere outside of the US. (North America uses MPH everywhere anyways) And yeah, I was thinking KM/H would make things too busy.

I'm printing the faceplate on regular paper. Then I'll have two layers of transparency paper that have black ink wherever light shouldn't shine through, along with some coloring with sharpies. (My laser printer is black and white :( )

Also, I'm a little worried about my gas gauge. I filled up yesterday (before I removed the faceplates) to full. When I was putting the old faceplates back on, I put the gas gauge needle kinda high. It doesn't seem to have moved from that spot... I've driven like 25 miles since the fillup. That should bring down the needle at least 1/10th of the way. It hasn't budged. Should I try putting it to almost empty and let it rise on its own?
 

·
TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
You might want to consider getting your final design cut/stamped out of thin plastic, don't know about cost on that but if you just get the clear bits cut straight through then something like the color filter material theater spotlights use would work great for backing. Or cellophane, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I don't know where I could get something printed on plastic. FedEx maybe?

And I made a new design.
 

·
Full Throttle
1993 Corolla SE Ltd
Joined
·
6,774 Posts
Great looking designs! I must say that I like the first design a lot better as it looks much 'cleaner' without the KP/H speeds. Looking forward to seeing the end result regardless of which design you go for :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So I've printed out the second design. It looks really good when lit up (I havent tried it in the car yet, just put it under a light.) For a needle stopper (at 0mph) I used a tiny screw with a nut. Works great, looks good enough when sharpied black. I'll install it tomorrow morning. It's 11:41PM right now, not a good time to install a speedo. I still need to design the gas and temp gauges, but for now I'll have the new speedo.
 

·
TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
I don't know where I could get something printed on plastic. FedEx maybe?
d I made a new design.
There should be places that do custom stencil work...heck, Kinkos will make magnetic decals these days. Let us know how your approach goes with the multi-paper solution, though...you could always get that right, then get it laminated for a glossy protective finish.

The default design was for use across two countries, I'd say you don't need kph unless you're planning to someday emigrate to Canada and federalize (or whatever it's called) your 7th-gen for use there or unless you spend a lot of time driving on roads marked in kph. Likewise, the "unleaded fuel only" is kind of redundant these days--even in 1993 it would be pretty hard to find gas pumps with leaded gas, so it's pretty much there just to remind you not to put diesel in, which most of us are smart enough not to do. :D

Pictures, please! Old and new, if possible. You're limited by where the lights actually are, of course, (unless you want to get funky with lightpipes/fiber optics) but as far as the shapes it might be possible to mimic something Toyota or Lexus has done more recently or whatever high-end automaker you'd like...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
There should be places that do custom stencil work...heck, Kinkos will make magnetic decals these days. Let us know how your approach goes with the multi-paper solution, though...you could always get that right, then get it laminated for a glossy protective finish.

The default design was for use across two countries, I'd say you don't need kph unless you're planning to someday emigrate to Canada and federalize (or whatever it's called) your 7th-gen for use there or unless you spend a lot of time driving on roads marked in kph. Likewise, the "unleaded fuel only" is kind of redundant these days--even in 1993 it would be pretty hard to find gas pumps with leaded gas, so it's pretty much there just to remind you not to put diesel in, which most of us are smart enough not to do. :D

Pictures, please! Old and new, if possible. You're limited by where the lights actually are, of course, (unless you want to get funky with lightpipes/fiber optics) but as far as the shapes it might be possible to mimic something Toyota or Lexus has done more recently or whatever high-end automaker you'd like...
The faces are glossy. I decided to put the transparency paper (which is glossy) on top and on bottom, with black+white plain paper in the center. I sharpie'd the colors on the transparencies and they came out pretty good. I also got rid of the white outline for the speedo. Makes it look much better.





They look a little blurry but in real life they're real sharp. Once I cut these out and put them in the car, I'll have some good pics along with night shots.
And yeah, I guess the "Unleaded Fuel Only" is kind of redundant, but hey, it sort of makes the gauge look a little more natural. :D I dunno.

PS. I dunno why I made the O/D OFF light multicolored... I guess I wanted at least one light to stand out.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top